The top Republican on the House Budget Committee blasted President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, saying Democrats are using it to bail out state governments financially struggling after closing businesses for months during the pandemic.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) also knocked the stimulus plan as a job killer that will add to the economic woes of American families.
“Democrats are rushing to pass a nearly $2 trillion spending bill that will enact bailouts for state governments that lock down their citizens and radical policies that will destroy jobs and raise the cost of living for working-class Americans,” Smith, the ranking Republican on the House panel, said in a statement to Fox News.
“But this is clearly where any sort of urgency on their part ends,” he said. “This is all just further proof that COVID-19 is more the pretext than the purpose behind what Democrats are proposing. Their approach is the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons.”
Fox News reported that after the stimulus payments are sent out, the bulk of the money — about $670 billion — would not be spent until fiscal year 2022 or later.
Another $140 billion would be held for fiscal year 2024.
Smith pointed out that of the $130 billion for K-12 schools, only about $6 billion would be spent this year.
About $250 billion would be used for Emergency Housing Vouchers this fiscal year, while $8 billion would go toward childcare.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive $11 billion this fiscal year, he said.
Democrats would be leaving American taxpayers to pick up a tab of $17,000 per individual and $70,000 for a family of four when Biden’s nearly $2 trillion relief bill is combined with the $4 trillion in stimulus already passed by Congress, he said in an interview earlier this month.
“That’s a lot of spending,” Smith told C-Span’s “Washington Journal.”
Biden’s plan calls for direct payments of $1,400 to eligible individuals and up to $5,600 for a family of four.
It also extends two unemployment programs until August.
The budget committee is expected to take up the plan on Monday.